GOP Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Re-election in Mississippi Despite Racial Controversy

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Cindy Hyde-Smith beat the African-American Democratic candidate Mike Espy with an estimated 55% share of the vote.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is the projected victor of the Senate runoff in MS, according to the Associated Press, overcoming a series of missteps that brought the state's dark history of racism and violence to the forefront.

Hyde-Smith won by depicting Democrat Mike Espy as too liberal for Mississippi.

"Congratulations to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith on your big WIN in the Great State of Mississippi".

The race was rocked by the video, in which Hyde-Smith said of a supporter, 'If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row'.

Hyde-Smith's campaign and apparent nostalgia for Confederatetradition, along with a history of making racist remarks, stirred painful memories of Mississippi's long and dark past.

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But Hyde-Smith and Trump insisted that she's a loyal supporter of the president's agenda. "There was no ill will, intent whatsoever in my comments", she said.

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith speaks during an election night event at The Westin Hotel, November 27, 2018 in Jackson, Mississippi. Thad Cochran's term, which expires in 2020. She is the first woman to hold a Senate seat in the state - and is now the first woman elected to the Senate in Mississippi. The state is more than one-third African-American, the highest in the nation, but its conservative white voters go overwhelmingly for the GOP. Hyde-Smith was already appointed to the Senate by Mississippi's Republican governor, Phil Bryant, after Cochran resigned but faced an election to fill the remainder of his term. She quickly pivoted to accusing her opponent of twisting her comment into a political attack against her. Hyde-Smith made some serious errors, but do they outweigh those of Espy? She later called the comments an "exaggerated expression of regard", but her use of the phrase brought memories of Mississippi's history of lynchings to the forefront and put the contest under the national microscope.

However, she immediately added during the debate: "I also recognize that this comment was twisted, and it was turned into a weapon to be used against me". They also stuck by her as a photo was circulated of her wearing a replica Confederate military hat during a 2014 visit to Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

Her supporters said the furore over her comments was overblown. Democrats lost a net of two Senate seats in the 2018 elections, winning seats in Nevada and Arizona but losing Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Florida. Hyde-Smith's daughter later attended a similar private school established around the same time, according to the Free Press.

Hyde-Smith won the election on a variety of promises including lower taxes, lighter regulations, protecting the life of unborn babies, and better support for the military, police, and war veterans. "We've seen how dicey things can get with a one or two vote majority".